Filters and Recommendation in Pop Culture: Do We Get the Playlists We Want?

“There is no information overflow, there is just filter failure.” – 
Clay Shirky

Every day, countless internet users load up their Tumblr and Pinterest boards with a growing number of images. The web also offers access to millions of videos, from home-recorded cover versions to expensively produced documentaries. Sites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp are constantly expanding resources for new music and artists. Curating hipsters create communities for friends sharing their love for certain aesthetics. Never before in history has the person behind the computer screen pubished, interacted with and re-assembled content as much as today.
But others argue, how people are being overwhelmed by this explosion of available content. They mourn the loss of the traditional media’s privilege of pre-selecting information, of editorial professionalism and direction. They also voice concerns of a growing filter bubble – users are fed their friends’ views, but is there still an objective perspective for appropriate for everyone?

ZEIT ONLINE, in cooperation with newthinking, is hosting an 60-minute discussion on how recommendation cultures are currently developing online, especially in areas such as music, video and the arts. What kind of filters or curators do we want and need? Do we accept automated recommendations and crowdsourced structures? And what about journalism? Have structures of power over what’s relevant and what’s cool really changed? Who entertains our thoughts?
We also will explore recent developments and initiatives with regard to filtering, recommending and curating. Is there really a ‘filter failure’ in online pop culture, and, if so, what should be done about it?
Together with the ZEIT ONLINE guests Christian Tjaben and Jason Forrest we look forward to engaging everyone in a lively discussion.

Tuesday, 20. November 2012, 18.30-20.00, Askanischer Platz 1, Anhalter Bahnhof, 10963 Berlin.

Christian Tjaben - From 1994 until 2008 Christian published and edited Style & The Family Tunes magazine in Berlin. He has been a DJ, a promoter and booking agent. Nowadays he writes about music and other subjects, hosts a weekly radio show at webradio station ByteFM and is one of the conference planners at the Reeperbahn Festival Campus, an annual music business event in Hamburg.

Jason ForrestJason is the current CEO and Creative Director for online TV broadcaster Network Awesome, made up of videos found on YouTube. He developed the applications Star6 and Buddha Machine, for the iPhone and iPad. He was the photography art critic for the Atlanta Journal/Constitution newspaper and founded two record labels. He also worked as a professional musician for 10 years, performing on stages around the world.

Andrea Goetzke - The event’s moderator is curator and organizer of conferences (e.g. all2gethernow), festivals and concerts (e.g. Torstraßenfestival), she focuses on digital culture and events at newthinking, and hosts her own radio show on reboot.fm.

The Discussion will be held in English.

Register: amiando.com/newthinking_zeitonline1

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